Opening date : 15 January 2014
Québec chasse et pêche, the first decade
Frédéric Lavoie works mostly in video, with which he has explored over the past ten years and more the notion of point of view through observation and listening. The work he is presenting at Sporobole is a follow-up to his recent video installation À l’affût et à l’écoute (2011), in which he began his visual and audio explorations of the theme of wilderness. For that work he filmed, in a documentary manner, animals in their habitat and a hunter making laconic hunting calls. These images, spread over four monitors, were accompanied by a soundtrack made out of sounds recorded in the landscape or simulated by someone making sound effects.
This time, Frédéric Lavoie has drawn on the popular culture of hunting and fishing, rummaging in the archives of the first magazine in Quebec devoted to this topic, Québec chasse et pêche (Quebec Hunting and Fishing), which was founded in 1971 and later became Sentier chasse et pêche. The work is a visual ethnographic study of the magazine’s entire range of contents (documentary photographs, titles, advertisements, graphics, insets, captions). The images taken from the 120 issues published between 1971 and 1981 are classified by theme – individual and group portraits, ecological issues, native peoples, dead and living animals, firearms, masculinity and femininity, food, curiosities, bygone practices, traditions – and analysed before being edited in the form of video animation sequences. These new assemblages, played back on several screens, underscore the abundance of the material and the impossibility of covering it all. Through this bestiary of animated images, Lavoie creates a synthetic and open narrative of Quebec wilderness in the 1970s. This decade, notable in particular for the transition to black-and-white to colour photographs in print media, provides perspective on some of the sociological and technological changes that have since taken place.
“I want to create an inventory which will represent at one and the same time the crafting of a story, a typological system in which signs are sorted and classified according to the category to which they belong and a socio-historical and iconographic reading of ‘wilderness’ Quebec in the 1970s”.
Québec chasse et pêche, la première décennie illustrates its own creative mechanism: the video image shows Lavoie’s work area, his table and his hands as he looks for new, meaningful images. This strategy animates and gives new life to the archive itself while at the same time reinforcing the playful distancing of the document. In addition to the video, various objects and prints arising from the archival work and created for this exhibition will occupy the gallery and serve as an introduction to the world of hunting and fishing.
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